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Child endangerment charges against former Hartford school official dismissed over jurisdictional issue

HARTFORD — A felony child-endangerment charge against a former Hartford school official were dismissed Thursday by a Superior Court judge over a jurisdictional issue.

The Hartford Courant reported that a Superior Court judge dismissed a charge against Eduardo Genao, who had been accused of sending text messages of a sexual nature to a 13-year-old girl.

The Courant reported the attorneys for both prosecution and defense agreed the state lacked jurisdiction in the case “because when the messages were allegedly sent, Genao was in Atlanta and the 13-year-old was in Westchester County, N.Y.”

The Courant said the case has been referred to federal authorities and there is also a civil suit pending.

According to the court affidavit, Hartford Police were notified by the teen’s mother that a Hartford Public Schools official was inappropriately texting her daughter.

Police then met with the mother and victim and fund that Genao first met his victim at event at a Bulkeley High School event on March 19, 2016 when they sat next one another.

Genao asked her to send him some PowerPoint screens that she was shooting with her cell phone and then thanked her later in the evening via a text message.

That began a chain of text messages that went from friendly to sexual, police said. At one point, the victim’s mother told her daughter to block his texts and then later said to unblock him to better see what his intention was.

According to the affidavit, his texts were sexually explicit. In one case, police said, he sent texts to his victim from an Atlanta hotel room and asked her to send pictures of her “belly with the zipper open…” Police said Genao told his victim he could “get into trouble” and that it was dangerous for him to be texting her.

On February 10, Sarah Eagan, State Child’s Advocate, released a report after a nine-month review of the policy, procedures and practices of the Hartford Public Schools district following Genao’s case.

Eagan said the report, which consisted of welfare records and interviews with people aware of the district practices, found that Hartford Public Schools failed to do the following:

  • Regularly review and update its mandated reporting policy as legally required.
  • Training of mandated reporters was inadequate.
  • Mandated reporters sometimes failed to make reports concerning suspicion that school employees have neglected or abused a child.
  • DCF did not have a system in place to efficiently document, track and address either the failure to make mandated reports or delays in mandated reporting.
  •  School employees who engaged in misconduct were not effectively held accountable.
  • There exists a special vulnerability for children with disabilities to possible abuse or neglect.